Enjoy local flavors and small town Americana on any of the
4 routes into Yosemite National Park

Click images below to view websites of each gateway

 

Madera County

South Entrance - Hwy 41
All Season Access

  • Fossil Discovery Center
  • Madera Wine Trail
  • Bass Lake
  • Historic Steam Train
  • Live Theatre
  • Zip Lines
  • Micro Brewery
  • Art & Museums
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  • Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias
  • Horseback Riding
  • Sleigh Rides

Mariposa County

West Entrance - Hwy 140
All Season Access

  • Horseback Riding
  • Zip Lines
  • State Mining & Mineral Museum
  • Historical Old Town Mariposa
  • Art & Music Festivals
  • Wild & Scenic Merced River
  • Mariposa History Museum
  • Antique Shopping
  • White Water Rafting
  • Gold Panning
  • Rock Climbing
  • Nature Photography

 

Mono County

East Entrance - Hwy 120
Open Spring - Fall

  • Bodie Ghost Town
  • Mono Lake
  • Devil's Postpile National Monument
  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
  • June Mountain Ski Area
  • Horseback Riding
  • Music Festivals
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Bridgeport Courthouse
  • Hot Springs
  • Hiking

Tuolumne County

North Entrance - Hwy 120
All Season Access

  • Casinos
  • Eclectic Shopping
  • Museums
  • Arts & Live Theatre
  • Winter Sports
  • Wineries
  • Hard Cider Distillery
  • Wapama Falls / Hetch Hetchy
  • Tuolumne River
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Columbia State Park
  • Railtown 1897 State Park

 

map2.png

Gateway Flyer PDF (Click to download map and info about gateways)

Visit Yosemite | Madera County

Oakhurst Visitor Center:
40343 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644
559.683.4636
YosemiteThisYear.com

Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau

Mariposa County Visitors Center:
5158 State Highway 140
Mariposa, CA 95338
866.425.3366
YosemiteExperience.com

Mono County Tourism

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center:
1 Visitor Center Drive (off US 395)
Lee Vining, CA 93541
800.845.7922
MonoCounty.org

Tuolumne County Yosemite Gold Country

Information Center:
13785 Highway 49/120
Chinese Camp, CA 95309
209.984.4636
YosemiteGoldCountry.com

yosemite_shuttle.jpg

Relax and Enjoy Your Own Custom Tour

Relax and ride along with your own tour guide as you enjoy the iconic sites of Yosemite. Private and group tour buses are a popular way to visit Yosemite.  Private and custom tours are available and offer you flexibility on what you see and do during your visit. Once in Yosemite Valley enjoy the complimentary Yosemite Shuttle all day around Yosemite Valley.


   Ride into Yosemite & Save

  • Relax and enjoy beautiful views on the way to Yosemite
  • Get around Yosemite National Park faster
  • Save money because your YARTS ticket includes your entrance fee (1 child 12 or younger rides free with each paying adult)
  • Be ready to explore, YARTS connects directly with FREE Valley Shuttle buses running all day every 10 minutes

   877.989.2787
   Yarts.com

A great time to visit Yosemite is from October to April

 

You'll enjoy the color and beauty of Yosemite typically only seen by those who live near the Park. If your visit is during the Summer, we suggest coming on a weekday, using alternative transportation, visiting destinations outside of Yosemite Valley and avoiding the Park entrances between 10am and 12pm for a premier experience.

 

It’s never been easier to start your journey

Photographer Ansel Adams once said: “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” 

And indeed, the iconic photographer certainly had a knack for doing just that. He stood in Yosemite National Park and snapped sweeping vistas, towering sequoia trees, the kaleidoscope of Tunnel View, the crystal clear waters of Bridalveil Fall, the vast glaciated granite view of Glacier Point. Yosemite was a place of inspiration for him; Adams is a source of inspiration for me.

I yearned to emulate his landscapes, to see things and snap things the way he had. I knew where to go, but I wanted Yosemite to be a journey and a destination. I wanted time to think, time to reflect—I wanted someone else to take the wheel. 

Tracing footsteps and photographs
I reserved accommodations across the park months in advance, studying how to get around every day in the meantime. I plotted out the steps I would take to snap where Adams snapped, and get my version of his photos along the way.

Equipment in hand and backpack snug, I was whisked along on an updated version of Ansel Adams’ own path from San Francisco to Yosemite. Adams certainly didn’t have the myriad of options visitors choose from today: train, plane and bus! 

I chose bus. For my journey, the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) would make it easy for me to explore Yosemite National Park. By letting someone else take the wheel, I could focus on my photography and ponder how dramatically different Ansel’s experience was just getting near the Sierra.

The entire drive, I gazed out my window and imagined the scenery that wasn’t yet in front of my eyes: Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley and more. All these silhouettes are striking in black and white, and no doubt will be even more powerful to see in person. Along the way, landscapes transformed from foggy city to clear skies, tall trees in emerald shades and welcoming sunshine. I took a deep, clear breath when the bus parked, then walked over to the Yosemite Shuttle. 

Sight to see
I adjusted my lens’ depth and pointed directly at Yosemite Falls, which spilled thousands of feet to a lower fall, surrounded by mists that made the falls look like a cloud. 

Click. Adjust. Click. Adjust. Click. Adjust. 

When I wasn’t gazing through my camera’s viewfinder, I was looking around me. Apart from the clicking of my camera, I heard water rushing in the distance, the chirp of a nearby bird, and every rustle of my shoe when I adjusted my position. I didn’t need a camera to see what Ansel Adams found beautiful here—all of it. 

I looked at each photo back on the shuttle, this time on the way to Half Dome. No, this wasn’t the same shot that Ansel Adams had taken, but it was my own. I knew that years from now, these photos would bring back more than what they showed—the sounds, smells, and experience of being on my own journey in Yosemite. 

Click. Adjust. Click. Adjust. Click. Adjust.

I looked at the photo I’d taken of Half Dome and then I looked around me. A tour group of people with British accents was marveling at Half Dome. They pointed and smiled and used their smartphones to catch memories of the landscape and each other. They, too, would look back on their photos fondly. 

I might have been inspired by Ansel Adams to come here, but I was finding something I wasn’t expecting, I found a place where I breathed easier, where the sun shined brighter. I was on my own, with the support of a park that encouraged visitors to explore farther. I strolled slowly along the path that winds its way through the Valley—what might happen if I simply saw where it took me?

It’s a snap
A friend shared a take away from a previous trip to the park: enjoy the park in solitude and get to Yosemite early. Yosemite was still and quiet as I stared up at El Capitan. I took a photograph as the sky lit up in pink and orange, only hearing the sounds of nature and my shutter. Arriving early was totally worth it. 

I returned to my lodging for a quick breakfast then caught YARTS, with Tuolumne Meadows in mind. As I walked on the trail, I paused to look around me and then closed my eyes, memorizing another dimension of what the photograph showed. The fresh smell of the air, the feel of the sun’s warmth on my arms—this was a memory to keep and one I might not have found if it weren’t for convenient transportation around the park.

Of course, I stopped by the Ansel Adams Gallery. The images I saw there took my breath away again, but in a different way. I saw his photos, but I knew so much more now. I knew the thrill of exploration, the hunt of setting up a perfect shot, the ease of letting someone else decide where your journey is headed, and the surprise of what is discovered along the way. 

Ansel Adams Gallery photo courtesy of Visit Yosemite | Madera County

Ansel Adams Gallery photo courtesy of Visit Yosemite | Madera County

In the future, I might return with a more robust photography skillset—I might even give Adams a run for his money. But for now, I’m grateful for the inspiration he stirred in me, the reminder of how wonderful wanderlust is. I got exactly what I needed from Yosemite. A journey of my own. 

Yosemite National Park is a motion picture in real time; a cinematic and captivating environment that births new life from each crack, crevice, canyon and cliff side. 

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
— Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams knew that “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” I know that a good story is one that’s inherently your own.

What will Yosemite show you, with or without a camera? Each gateway into the park is unique and offers visitors a different experience. Each makes it easy to discover the ease of getting around—via YARTS, by plane, on a private charter, and more—allowing you to focus on your own journey. 

noscript>